Life is Beautiful

Often I ask myself – What is life? , Is life beautiful? Why are we so passionate of our lives, that we start living it over and over again?

I struggle to answer these basic  questions of existence ………

One day it is a bed of thorns, those pricking your heart and soul,

The other day it is a path of blossoms, blooming and filling your nostrils with heavenly scents.

A door closes and a door opens……

Things that you feel are useless, often jump up into your face and scream for attention. They are too loud to be neglected, nonetheless they are futile and worthless in comparison to other vital things in life.

Just when you feel, you’ve lost the track of your life, and things start slipping out of your hands………miracles start happening 🙂

Someday, someone, something……..crosses your path just out of the blue, to make you grin and smile, ear to ear !!

Neither the pessimist nor the optimist can fault life on these wonderful miracles..they just happen, to make you alive ..

The upside down life of ours, suddenly seems to be stable and worth living again.

Yes, life indeed is beautiful … 🙂

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Just me and a Hope

I know I’ve been selfish, I know I’ve been  bad

I was just waiting to pick up myself, after the bled of those pricking thorns all the way…..

It was a tough journey, a never-ending one…….but it made me blunt and stronger to endure the pain, the avoidance and the criticism

I promise, I am tougher and better, more to myself than to others

No more mistakes to do, no more promises to keep………..just a way to go, a life to live 🙂

I don’t deserve to say a sorry, I don’t deserve the love…….what I feel I deserve is the companionship of all, till the journey ends….

The guilt potion

Damn, I did it again…..someone come kill me now..

A strict diet follower since 15 days finally gave up to chocolate, yes the evil chocolate..

And when I was having  that devilish chocolate drink, not a bit did I think of that fat on my tummy that needs to be cut down !!

Not my fault…….the muffins in the fridge were screaming to be used up, and that jar of Nutella was already whispering into my ears to be picked up….see, not my fault at all 😉

My heart melts at chocolates and I eventually gave in to both of them and decided to ditch the diet plan for just 15 min……not mean      ( oh yess !!)

If I am not supposed to eat chocolates, they should stop making them \m/

The chocolate muffins in the fridge were a few days old, and were starting to harden a bit, didn’t have the heart to throw them away, so decided to make up something new from the leftovers……..shhh who said that..?

But before I feed my kids with the new experimented drink, I have to try it myself, and yes that’s compulsory.

I googled a bit to find out new recipes to recycle those muffins…oops

But the deal was, it should be instant, I hate elaborate procedures (wonder how I bake a cake, sometimes !!)

Cake pops and crumb cakes were all around, but I wasn’t that patient to try them out.

Finally had to dig out this guilt potion from the back of my mind.

The rich chocolate devil 🙂

Left over chocolate muffin drink

Ingredients:

Chocolate muffins

Cold milk

Nutella

Procedure:

Blend together a muffin, a cup of milk and a tablespoon of Nutella .

Depending on how chocolatey you want it, you can add or delete the Nutella.

Again, if you want it less thick, add more milk.

Done !!

Just drink it and you don’t know how guilty it makes you feel……specially if you watch those calories while you eat.

I still can’t get over the fact that I had it in the morning, then to make up for it I had to skip my lunch….poor me .

Btw, I am still worried of those 3 kgs I need to shed to reach my goal of 50 kg weight…..keep away those chocolates, chips and cookies 🙂

Time flies….

Sorry for being MIA since long (umm… i know there can’t be an excuse), but believe me I’ve turned into an absolute crazy zombie right now !!

The culprit ? ….Well, the extra lengthy summer vacations that the kids are enjoying, driving me nuts all the time 😛

Apparently, we all love kids, but not their vacations, not at least me !!

As a teenager, I always hated having kids around. I believed they stress their parents and make them go insane, and I stuck to this prejudice even after having my own kids………….coz they really do exactly the same.

……..ok fine, before you start raising your eyebrows, I admit I was  just kidding 😀

But this isn’t the exact reason of my freaking behaviour right now…….its something else,stuck on my mind.

Back in India, all the relatives and friends who managed to meet us after one long year of exile in a foreign country, all of them, noticed something common.

They all pointed out, and how, that my girl had grown up !!

As a mom this freaked me out. Of course, she was growing, and I knew that, but this sudden attack of the human species around me, intruding into my ten-year old girl’s growth was a bit awkward for me to take 😦

I immediately became a helicopter mom, monitoring her eating habits and bugging her to watch her weight. Luckily she never got nagged enough to stop eating.

I agree, she is a healthy eater, a happy child and is physically active too. She is perfectly the height and weight of her age. But as a mom, for me she was still a kid.

My fickle mind was out of  admitting the fact that she was into her growing years.

So obviously, while all her hormones were  to start playing tricks soon, and her girly curves were gradually being visible, those people around me had to pinpoint that she had grown up !!

While I say this, I am still freaked out on how do I explain her all about the things she needs to know at this age. More worse, what if she questions me inquisitively and I can’t provide a valid answer?

Luckily, kids these days get most of their dose of information from school. But I am always afraid of the negative effects of that half cooked girly gossips there 😛

Hope I am able to provide her with all the information she needs, on time and positively.

Time flies, for sure…………my kid girl is growing up !!

P.S. I hate being a helicoptering parent

Suggestions are always welcome……….

Spicy Onion Rice

Yes I am back, and the first post up here after the break is straight out of my kitchen 🙂

As an Indian, I love the diversities in India. All the Indian states showcase their unique traditions, customs, cultures and food.

Since I am happily into an inter-caste marriage, I find myself lucky to be able to explore and experiment with two kinds of cuisines at home.

My better half is from the Western India, a part of India characterised by sweet, savory, spicy food with lots of varieties in tempering (tadkas). They use mustard, cumin, fenugreek and sesame seeds a lot !!

Whilst I am from North India, the land characterised by an overdose of ghee, butter and spicy curries cooked in onion-tomato gravies, not to forget the ginger-garlic paste they use in almost every dish 😛

Ohh yea, and the North Indians use a lot of mustard oil in their food…..yuck !!

So here we are on our way to make a very basic spicy rice, with onion as its core ingredient. The onion used here gives the rice its rich brown colour and flavour.

It is a basic rice dish, easy to make and believe me, your taste buds are gonna love it.

There are lots of variations possible, we shall deal with them at the end. 🙂

Spicy Onion Rice

Ingredients

2 cups white rice, washed and soaked for half an hour.

1 small red onion, chopped lengthwise

1 green chilly, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 cloves, 2 black peppers, a small piece of cinnamon

1 tsp red chilli powder

2 tbsp cooking oil of your choice

Salt to taste

Water ( Its not possible to write down a measurement for water, as it depends on how you cook your rice everyday and what kind of rice you are using)

Microwave Method

1. In a large microwave safe bowl pour in the soaked rice and some water, just enough to cook the rice.

pour in the rice and water into a microwave safe bowl

2. In a small wok heat the oil and add the cumin seeds, cloves, black peppers and cinnamon.

The spluttering of cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper

3. When its starts spluttering, add the onion and the green chillies. Take care the cumin seeds  don’t burn and turn black.

Add the onion and green chilies to the tempering

4. Keep stirring the mixture till the onion becomes translucent and its edges start to brown.

The onions are browning at the edges

5. While the onion starts browning, immediately add the red chilli powder and 1/2 cup water. Make sure to add the water soon after the chilli powder or it would burn and would give a black colour instead of the red.

Add red chilli powder
Adding water immediately after the red chilli powder gives it a rich red color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as you add the water, the mixture gets a rich red colour and gives out awesome aroma of the onion 🙂

6. Add this tempered mixture into the bowl with rice.

Add tempering to the rice bowl

7. Add salt to taste.

8. Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 10 min. When its done, check again, add a cup of water more and microhigh for 10 more  min.

So my rice took 20 min to cook in the microwave.

Pressure cooker method

1. Pour in the soaked rice and water into the pressure cooker.

2. Prepare the tempering following steps 2 to 5 of the microwave method.

3. Add the tempered mixture to the cooker with rice. Add the salt. Three whistles and the rice is done !!

Check out the pic of the bowl right out of the microwave. All the tempering has moved into the centre 🙂

Smells heavenly
Ta da….my tasty, spicy onion rice is ready !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slowly mix in with a spatula and distribute the spices all over the rice. Its ready to be gulped down, with or without a side dish.

A bonus point, it is super easy to cook for those bachelors who hate cooking but crave for tasty food. 😛

Variations

1. Throw in some diced carrots and a handful of peas to get that tasty veggie rice.

2. You can also add 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste to the tempering to make the rice more pungent. I didnt do that coz I like the onion flavour to dominate 🙂

3. If you like your rice to be a bit sweet- savoury, add in a tbsp of sugar to the tempering. The sugar would caramalise and add a wee bit of sweetness to the rice.

4. If you like it more spicy, increase the amount of green chillies or the red chilly powder.

Give this simple rice dish a try whenever you are feeling too lazy to cook an elaborate meal, or when you are craving for a spicy dish or simply just coz you loved the pictures I have put up……………just lemme know how it went 🙂

Till then ciao..

Adieus Amigos

While the bags and baggages are all packed, the kids ready and excited to board the flight, I already feel butterflies in my tummy !!

Strange it is,I am not new to flying, still every time I have to endure this phase of anxiety and eagerness before the flight takes off (and lands too !!)

Only if vacations could be fun in India (yea, I am not cribbing 😛 )

While the little ones have been busy ticking off the dates in their calender, counting the days left to meet their grandparents after one long year, it amazes me, how living away only makes us grow fonder of each other 🙂

With no internet access out there, blogging would be just out of the question for almost a month or two; and I would madly miss it. It is always fun to connect to lovely friends on  blogosphere, sharing and interacting everyday.

I take your leave with a wonderful thought, a wish, a hope :

Happiness is a state of mind

Hope to connect back soon.

Till then, Adieus Amigos……..

Instagram + Strawberry cake

I know I am a bit late for Instagramming, but that is how I am !! Too dumb at using gadgets, leave alone the applications 🙂

It took quite a bit of time for me to get into Instagram, but I am glad I did it !!

I would speculate, when my friends posted pics through Instagram on FB, but the picture quality, had me at it. The pictures look more sleek and glossy after using those filters.

Finally, I got the application and plunged in 🙂

Lately, I have been freaking out with all the packing scene going on in the house since a few days, added to it was a demand to bake a strawberry cake (which I never wished to).

I had been putting off the kids since 3 days, on the cake thingy, but then Mr. Hubby was bothered a lot of them !!

He got me the Pillsbury instant cake mix, and voila, I baked it in just 5 min. The cake was super moist, tasty and the pink strawberry colour was awesome 🙂

So here is the Strawberry cake + the Instragamming ………

Pillsbury Strawberry Cake mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You just need to add water, oil and eggs, the instructions are very clear
The yummy cake mix after whisking in the ingredients
Ta da…..the cake is ready in just 5 min
the super moist strawberry goodness !!
and I love this little Pillsbury chef, so cute 🙂          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I was whisking the mix, I ate a lot of spoonfuls and really had a second thought on baking it as a cake 😛

The baking time was just 3 min in the Microwave, and it let out heavenly aroma while baking.

Finally the kids had a yummy cake, that too in a good quantity lasting for at least few days……..thank God, Pillsbury cake mix was handy !!

Have you ever gone through these kinda baking blues? Try the instant cake mix then !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lines crossed – final part

Continued from The lines crossed 3

” How dare you do that, you utterly disgust me !!”, she typed furiously and hit the send button. Not being able to connect with him, had made her go nuts !!

One year precisely, and she had been fighting with herself to survive, with all her crappy thoughts about the devil. She was being a judgemental bitch.

Moments later she realised, she had done something wrong. What if he got angry with her, for that mail she sent a minute back, what if he didn’t reply at all?

He did reply though. “OK” , was the short and sweet answer.

Her head had started spinning by now. She disgusted herself. She felt she was being mocked at.

A month later

Other than checking her mails, she had abandoned her computer. One look at that machine, and she was reminded of the past. She hated that feeling. She desired to be happy once more.

One fine day, she was being grumpy again. Irrationally irritable.

No, it was not her monthly cycle playing the pranks, it was the unexpected email, she had received that morning.

It read ” I got a good job, am moving out of the country soon. Bbye and take care”

A tear trickled down her cheek, a chill went down her spine, she had almost fainted. She felt, she lost a part of her own. She was devastated, to say the least.

Gathering herself,she had a glass of chilled water and she smiled, mysteriously!!

Smiled ??

Yes, she smiled, coz something had made her smile 🙂

She was happy for him. He was successful, and in a position, she always wanted him to be. She felt proud, he had achieved it. She was glad he had finally got what he had always dreamt of – success, money and recognition, and all that by himself. He had no godfather, no savings; A well deserved success it was!!

She respected him from within, “Kudos”, she whispered and smiled again.

All the angst, the frustration, the hatred had dissolved into thin air, what was left was just love, disguised as respect.

She felt as light as a feather. She felt relieved.

Two years later

Her heart skipped a beat again. She felt something in the air around. Something awkward that was making her feel uneasy. She looked around and was amused.

World is a small place – she thought.

They exchanged glances and smiled. The devil was there, looking smart and dapper,in his crisp suit, with a charming lady by his side. They were at a friend’s wedding reception.

She had been ageing gracefully, but suddenly at this moment, her visible grey strands started bothering her.She wanted to look perfect.

He walked up to her. ” Hey there, how are you?” , he asked smiling.

With the same height difference as always, she had to look up to him.She was already startled and mesmerized. “Good ” , she replied, fumbling.

” Meet her, she is my wife, you remember my girlfriend back then?” he asked her,  pointing to his beautiful lady.

“And I am back in the city, same house !!” he added promptly.

” You got a pretty wife, and you look good together”, she replied.

They exchanged smiles and looked like a cute couple, very much in love.

Five  years later

He rushed to open the door, only to find his old neighbour holding something in his wrinkled hands.

“What is this” ,  the devil asked.

“It is a packet for you, someone left it yesterday noon, while you were out.”

“Who was it, you should have asked for the identity and the phone number.”

“It was a someone saying, a lady left it as her last wish.”

He was skeptical on opening that mysterious gift. Since it was for him, he couldn’t resist the urge either.  He slowly tore open the gift wrap.

Lots of neatly printed papers, arranged in a stack, and a letter in a red envelope, that is what it exactly contained.

” Go get this printed, couldn’t find anyone else to share my secrets with, hope you don’t mind. I trust you. Rose…….”

It was her biography. He ruffled through the pages, speechless.

His eyes welled up, for the first time, as he noticed the title of the biography. It read – Roses Bleed.

” I will miss you bitch”, he whispered to himself.

The lines crossed 3

Continued from The lines crossed 1 and The lines crossed 2

Three times that week, she had been with him, devising new excuses every time. The family was obviously unaware of her intentions, as she left her baby with them.

Something was truly bugging her. The lust – love duel was still going on in her mind. She was confused.

“So, hows you today?”, she pecked him as she inquired.

“Good”, he answered faintly, not taking his eyes off his computer.

She did feel bad, but it was more than anything on earth for her, to be with him. She always wanted the moments to freeze; those moments when she would notice a hint of love in his eyes. That would make her feel wanted and desired.

The very next moment, snap…..she would feel like just an object of desire. Not sure of what was true, she would always try to hold herself back. Call her cold.

The week passed fast enough, and she was back to the square one, her home, her  family, husband and the kid. She was upset, missing something, missing her devil !!

Not that she wanted him or wanted to be with him, that wasn’t possible anytime,  she wanted to be around him. She felt so special, when he vented out his frustrations to her. The best part being, he would stick to her the whole day, if he felt low anytime. She would feel like a goddess 🙂

Back home, she now had no contact with him. No texts, no mails, dry days and weeping nights. There wasn’t a day, she would not think of him. A thousand questions would cross her mind at lightening speed – Was he fine? Did he not like me? Was he so busy with his girlfriend his studies? Doesn’t he ever miss me? Did he find me old and boring? Did he want something more of me ?……..all these questions had no answer, they made her feel sick.

She had started assuming of him as an opportunist. Just because she did not fight, he had her. Just because she was around, he talked to her. She would come up with a million of questions and a zillion of manipulated answers for herself. She was already in a self-pity, self-destructive mode……

She stopped checking out his profile, stopped checking the mails (she knew they would never be there), stopped living…..it was a drag to keep waiting for a magic to happen, the magic, that never would happen. She was clueless and blank.

Love is the best emotion in this world, the best unexpressed emotion, to be precise !! One moment, it can make you feel on top of the world, and the next moment, it can reduce you to dust. She was already in ashes.

She was Rose, the thorns had started pricking her hard. Her heart was bleeding.

Of Blogging

I am no inspirational blogger, neither a fashion/style blogger, nor a food blogger.

I am a newbie, learning to write from my experiences and encounters with friendly strangers on the blogosphere 🙂

Just two months of blogging has exposed me to a variety of aspects of blogging.

A new blogger is always fancied by the growing  number of followers, intrigued by the likes his writings get and overwhelmed by his growing blog stats every-day.

Consequently he/she needs to stick to the following, more or less.

Take a look, and feel free to correct me !!

1. Read, Read, Read.

“Reading is the first step to blogging “. Luckily, I came across this quote the very first day I made an account with WordPress; and since then, I’ve stuck to it.

Out of my five days for WordPress (not counting the weekends, coz I don’t log in then), two days I write, and three I have dedicated to reading others.

Reading gives us the pulse of the time, our mind becomes open to new ideas and trends. Consequently, something interesting may spark us, and we may pen down.

2. If you like it, comment on it.

Just as we love being appreciated, so do others. If a writer has taken out time to write down something, leave a comment of appreciation.

Of course, you can ‘like’ the post, but then, a comment makes you interact one-to-one with the writer. And the person feels good too !!

As a matter of fact, he would return the favour by surely visiting your blog. More traffic that is 🙂

3. Do not forget to reply.

This is one of the most important aspects of blogging, I feel. I have visited several blogs, but not all of them reply to my comments. Eventually, I end up not visiting them any more; It is a human nature.

If you show the – I don’t care attitude, the reader wont bother to come back and read you again. So think twice, before  you skip those replies.

Take time to thank  your followers and the commenters, they feel connected and appreciated.

Also, if someone chooses to follow you, return the favour by following back 🙂

4. Blog your mind. Do not beg, borrow or steal.

Of course we can always steal the ideas, but not the text. Copy and paste is a bad idea……its plagiarism.

Be original; if you are a thief stealer, some one might notice it, and you lose respect instantly.

Remember, the readers are smart, and they are not only reading  you, they are judging you too 🙂

5. Be true. Do not fake or camouflage.

Nobody is perfect, and life is not a cakewalk. So don’t try to portray only the good things in life.

Too many sugar-coated things and your readers are bound to puke.

Occasionally, take a dig at the other side of your life, and your readers would enjoy the plunge !!

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Disclaimer– All the views expressed here are my own. I don’t intend to offend any one, so please don’t be !!

Please add to my list, if I missed out some 🙂